News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Easter Eggs return Saturday to Maple Leaf Park

April 2nd, 2015 by Mike

The 2014 egg hunt, before the deluge.

Maple Leaf’s Lux Communities is planning its second annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

This is Micah from Lux Communities. We are having an Egg Hunt again this year. It is a free event for the community. It is this Saturday, April 4th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We will have age-graded egg hunts for children ages 2-10.

Their first hunt last year was quite a success.

Lakeview Free Methodist Church, which in the past has sponsored a hunt on the church’s 15th Avenue Northeast campus, appears to this year be holding a Neighborhood Carnival on May 30th.

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March goes out like a lion – plus power outages

March 31st, 2015 by Mike

Update 7:39 p.m. Wednesday: Hail, for the second evening in a row!

Update Wednesday a.m. National Weather Service in Seattle says 60 percent chance of showers today and possibly a thunderstorm after 11 a.m.

This evening’s hail – and lightning strikes – have killed power to several dozen in Maple Leaf.

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Lost and found in Maple Leaf

March 23rd, 2015 by Mike

KL emails:

Hello MLL:

This morning my daughter and I managed to wrangle a black hen (I think ) from the roundabout of Northeast 90th Street and Eighth Avenue Northest to our backyard coop.

She’s full grown and seems pretty tame. Currently she’s finding her place among our hens and I’m more than happy to keep her safe here until someone claims her.

Please let me know if she’s yours and we can figure a time to come get her.

John emails: “Found small jewelry item in box 3/23/15 a.m. about 30 yards west of Cloud City Coffee on Northeast 88tth Street north side. Describe and claim.”

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Evil doings at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

March 21st, 2015 by Mike

This morning the east side of upper Maple Leaf Reservoir Park looks like a crowd of drunken golfers left huge divots in the turf.

Dozens of them.


Also, somebody tagged the fence at the north entrance.

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Police seek help in identifying two criminal suspects

March 20th, 2015 by Mike

Seattle Police this week are asking the public’s help in identifying two criminal suspects.

One shot a man during a robbery in Meadowbrook, the other attempted to abduct a woman at gunpoint near the University of Washington.

Neither crime occurred in Maple Leaf, but both are nearby and we are posting as a public service.

The bearded police sketch is of the abductor.

“Police have compiled a sketch of a man who tried to abduct a woman at gunpoint near the University of Washington campus last month, and detectives are hoping someone out there recognizes him.

The suspect pulled a gun on a woman around 10 pm near 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 55th Street on February 22nd, and tried to force her to follow him.

Two men interrupted the suspect’s abduction attempt and walked the woman home.

The victim described the suspect as a white male in his 20s, 5-foot-4 with blue eyes and a “scrawny” build. He had blonde hair and a goatee, and was wearing a blue coat, dark jeans, and a backpack.

If you have any information about this case or recognize the man in the sketch, please contact detectives at (206) 684-5550.

The Meadowbrook robbery may have occurred during a drug deal gone wrong, police say.

Police are still looking for two robbers who burst into a Meadowbrook home on March 12th and shot a man during a struggle. Detectives haven’t yet identified the robbers, but they’re hoping video—captured by a security camera inside the home–may lead them to the suspects.

If you recognize the men in the video, please contact the SPD Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535.

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After the deluge – 1.85 inches in Maple Leaf on Sunday

March 16th, 2015 by Mike

Well, that was wet.

The deluge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport measured 2.20 inches, shattering the previous record for the Ides of March by a full inch.

It rained 4-5 inches over some of the Cascade foothills.

The weather shut down Stevens Pass Ski Area and several trains.

(It wasn’t capably forecast, either.)

But here at Maple Leaf Life South the rain total was only 1.85 inches. Whew!

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News from around the neighborhood and nearby

March 15th, 2015 by Mike

On this Ides of March:

* Chris emails that the Mug Bugs Coffee stand at 5th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street (at Rick’s Chevron) was robbed on Friday.

A Seattle Police report confirms that a “robbery business bodyforce” occurred at that location shortly after noon. The map also shows assorted burglaries and car crimes around Maple Leaf.

* More candidates emerge running for district seats in Seattle’s new City Council scheme. Nearly all of Maple Leaf is in District 5, where there are currently six candidates: Sandy Brown, Mercedes Elizalde,  Debora Juarez, Mian Rice, David Toledo and Halei Watkins.

In a roundup, our news partner The Seattle Times notes that Brown leads that pack in fundraising, at $35,753.

One campaign contribution of note: super-rich Seattle venture capitalist and big-time Democratic donor Nick Hanauer last November gave $700, the maximum amount allowed, to 5th District candidate Sandy Brown. Hanauer’s wife, Leslie, also gave $700…. The Hanauers live in the 5th District.

The southernmost toe of Maple Leaf is in District 4, candidates Jean Godden, Rob Johnson, Taso Lagos, Michael J. Maddux and Tony Provine. The fundraising leader is longtime council incumbent Godden at $47,678.

* Finally, it’s of neighborhood interest that the blighted properties down 15th Avenue Northeast near Roosevelt High School are back in the news, as Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and other officials float the idea of tearing down houses belonging to Hugh Sisley and developing a pocket park. The Times’ story is here.

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Male poodle found on N.E. 105th St.

March 11th, 2015 by Mike

Nancy emails: “This male poodle was found wandering on Northeast 105th Street between Roosevelt Way Northeast and Eighth Avenue Northeast early Tuesday evening, March 10.

“Blue collar, no tags. I’m hoping owner claims him before he goes to Seattle Animal Shelter. Thanks!

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City asks: “Do you like the way your neighborhood is changing?”

March 9th, 2015 by Mike

Change has arrived in Maple Leaf — $1.3 million houses, traffic gridlock on arterials (Roosevelt Way Northeast, 15th Avenue Northeast, Fifth Avenue Northeast), our new park! — and the city wants to know what we and other neighborhoods think about these changes.

Examining population or job growth is one way to measure change but what about lesser-known measures like transit ridership, tree canopy cover, or academic performance?

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think tells us the most about how your neighborhood is changing by taking our quick poll to indicate which five topics are most important to you. It’s impossible to measure how a city neighborhood changes with just one measure.

The survey suggests 21 different topics, from crime to farmers’ markets, and also has the option to write in a different topic. The link to the poll is:

The poll, by the city’s Department of Planning Urban Development, is tied to Seattle’s Urban Village Strategy and the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

As as it happens, our news partner The Seattle Times has an updated interactive tool: Mapping King County’s Disappearing Middle Class.

Keying off newly released data — “since 2000, 95 percent of new households in King County have been either rich or poor. A mere 5 percent could be considered middle income” – The Times has broken down new growth by census tract.

Of interest, in southwest Maple Leaf (census tract 20) 57 percent of new growth has been in high-income households. By contrast, just across Interstate 5 from Northgate (census tract 210) 100 percent of growth has been low income.

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Maple Leaf council seeks four new members

March 4th, 2015 by Mike

Two of Maple Leaf’s most visible residents are stepping down after years on the Maple Leaf Community Council – an organization that played a major role in shaping our neighborhood.

The ubiquitous Donna Hartmann-Miller (seen rousing the 12th Man) is stepping down from her council position when her term expires next month. (She’s also ubiquitous here.)

Her husband, David Miller – who has served as council president for nearly six years – will step down from the president’s position in May, but remain on the council until his term expires in 2016.

With the additional departure of Lori Phipps, council secretary, Miller writes:

“With the two existing open seats (Positions 8 and 9) and the departure of Donna and Lori from the Board (Positions 1 and 3), our nine-person Board will be down to just five members. I have been writing with ever-greater urgency in our quarterly newsletters about the need for other Maple Leaf residents to come forward and join the Executive Board – and now that need is even larger.”

Miller’s remark came in an email to the neighborhood last week. In it he also says:

I feel I must make crystal clear these three changes all result from personal reasons. There is no issue dividing the Board, our Board members get along really well, and Maple Leaf is not facing any major crisis (knock wood).

New volunteers need not worry about stepping into a toxic or frantic situation. Furthermore, all three of us will remain involved to pass along knowledge, expertise, and our spirit of neighborhood service – we won’t leave Maple Leaf, new volunteers, or our existing Board members hanging.

The Maple Leaf Community Council was formed by active neighbors in 1983. “We need to remember that the community we live in did not just happen,” Jack Remick, a former council member, wrote in an obituary for one of the founders.

Barbara Maxwell, another former council member, wrote:

“I completely agree with Jack that the Maple Leaf of today did not just happen but instead reflects hundreds of volunteer hours dedicated on behalf of the Maple Leaf neighborhood.”

That 2011 obituary, for Puni Hokea, is here. It also quotes HistoryLink:

Maple Leaf did not become active until 1983 when, under the leadership of Puni Hokea and Peter Orser, they formed the Maple Leaf Community Council.

Quietly, persistently, the group worked to improve services, yet preserve their sense of community. Without confrontation and without blocking a single building permit, the group managed to scale back the zoning of Roosevelt Way NE so that businesses had to provide off-street parking. The group was “articulate and well organized” (The Weekly).

To serve on the council (technically its Executive Board) you must be a resident of Maple Leaf. Other formal requirements are in the council’s bylaws. If interested, send an email to

Miller adds:

The top informal requirement is you must love Maple Leaf. A close second is you have to be willing to represent the neighborhood, not just your personal views, during Executive Board discussions and votes. You need to be good at reading and responding to email, have interest in neighborhood issues, and be able to spend an average of a couple hours a week (sometimes more, sometimes less) to devote to serving Maple Leaf.

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Overnight rollover crash blocks 15th Ave. N.E.

February 28th, 2015 by Mike

A rollover crash on 15th Avenue Northeast drew more than a dozen fire units to Maple Leaf overnight.

KOMO-TV reports: “An SUV sideswiped a parked truck, flipped over, and blocked traffic around 12:30 a.m.  Two people were inside the SUV, and one person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.”

The accident occurred near the intersection with Northeast 91st Street.

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The (very many) dogs of Maple Leaf

February 28th, 2015 by Mike

Dog note: Seattle DogSpot posts the news that the state Legislature passed a bill making it illegal to leave a pet locked in a car under dangerous conditions.

Calvin as shark this past Halloween.

Sorry, Maple Leaf.

Despite repeated assertions over years that Maple Leaf (or at least the 98115 zip code) has more Dog Density than any neighborhood in Seattle, we don’t.

Not even close.

We know this thanks to our news partners The Seattle Times, whose FYI Guy has crunched the numbers by zip code.

Green Lake, Ballard – even downtown – top the Dog Density list, with more than 800 dogs per square mile.

The Maple Leaf Dog Oasis, a prime protector and feeder of local canines, regrets to learn this.

(HOWEVER we can report, anecdotally, that dog traffic at the Oasis has doubled – perhaps tripled – since the opening of the north entrance to the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park. We know this because the treat jar at the Oasis now has to be refilled daily.)

In Maple Leaf, Dog Density is between 400 and 600. In the 98115 zip code, that’s 80 dogs per 1,000 residents.

One zip code north of Ballard boasts 116 dogs per 1,000 two-legs.

The Dog Oasis is neutral on the Times’ finding that the most popular dog name here is “Lucy.”

There are a total of 490 dogs named Lucy in the city, and that’s not including variants of the name, like Lucy Latte (could a dog name get any more Seattle?).

If you go to the Times’ dog map, note that it’s interactive.

Also:  “In Seattle, one out of seven dogs is a Lab, and the breed dominates all but two Seattle ZIP codes: Downtown’s 98101 and Pioneer Square’s 98104 — Chihuahuas hold court in both.”

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Neighbors report crime news here

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Robin emails this afternoon:

Just wanted to alert our neighbors that our home (we live on Northeast 102nd Street here in Maple Leaf) was broken into in broad daylight yesterday morning.

There were at least two intruders, possibly three in a gold-colored car with tinted windows and they smashed two windows and ultimately just bashed in the front door. Some valuables and our safe were stolen.

Thanks to the quick response from Seattle police and the Burien police, our safe was recovered, though broken, within an hour or so in Burien and we got back most of our personal papers.

Also, John emails a link to Washington’s Most Wanted: “He was involved with two others in the robbery of a patron met at Roosevelt 7/11 you reported on January 17. Post the video link, and maybe we get him busted.”

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf’s City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.


So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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New: Found baseball glove. (Old: Keys found near N.E. 91st St.)

February 19th, 2015 by Mike

John emails overnight: “Found baseball glove, Olympic View Elementary School, 2/20/2015.

Ashley emails:

We found a large set of about 15 keys in the gravel dead-end street of Northeast 91st Street and 20th Avenue Northeast (in front of Grunge City Crossfit and near the Stratford Assisted Living).

If someone is missing them, they can be retrieved by commenting below.

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